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Super Synonym Sets for Stories

The books and stories students encounter may include many different uses of the word start, both as a noun and verb. As a noun, start may be used to describe a location or time of the day in connection to something starting or beginning. For example, when friends go to a movie that starts at 8pm, start refers to when the film will begin. If an athletic race starts at a park and finishes down the road, start refers to the location the race began. As a verb, start can mean to make a sudden movement. For example, a horse may start at the sound of a horn. start can also be used as a verb when used to describe something or departing, “the kids started out the door on their way to school.”


  • How is starting a conversation different than starting out a door?
  • How is starting a new project different than continuing a project?

The Spanish Connection

The etymology of start can be traced back to the Middle English word sterte and the Old English word styrtan, which may correspond to Middle High German sterzen (also starzen). Start does not have a Spanish cognate, but some of the word’s synonyms do; for example the word initiate and iniciar.

Word Changes

You may hear someone say they are turning over a new leaf in their life. This means that they are changing their behaviors or attitudes to have a fresh start and new beginning. The saying originated in the 16th century when the pages in a book were called “leaves.” When a person turned over a leaf they weren’t turning over a leaf from a tree that had fallen on the ground. Instead, they were turning over a page in a workbook during a school lesson. Over time, the saying began to mean what it means today.